Exhibition showcases charm of Chinese opera figure paintings
Figure painting exhibition "The Charm of Danqing Opera" is showing at Shanghai Jiudian Art Museum through December 3.
The exhibition features a collection of Chinese opera figure paintings created by veteran artist Zhu Gang, including some historical materials from his career.
Born in 1958, Zhu graduated from the Shanghai Fine Arts School, receiving training in Western painting and traditional Chinese art.
Chinese opera figure painting is the interpretation of the beauty of the Chinese opera in the medium of painting. The special art genre has a long history with a far-reaching origin. It was once even among the rock paintings, silk painting, murals and colored pottery.
The subjects of Chinese opera figure painting originated from ordinary life, which blossomed from primitive songs, dance and music, and later incorporated acrobatics and performing arts.
It reached a golden stage during the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1644) dynasties. In the modern era, master Guan Liang (1900-1986) created a "childish style" using Chinese brush and ink, transforming this realistic traditional Chinese art into a more modern form.
In addition to Guan, Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), Ye Qianyu (1907-1995) and Chen Shifa (1921-2007), all heavyweight names in China's modern art history, created Chinese opera figure paintings.
Zhu's works, based on the sketching techniques of Western paintings, fuse body sculpting into traditional ink-wash painting. He described his style as "realism on the whole, while freehand on the detail," creating his own unique style.
One of the highlights of the exhibition is a painting that Zhu created in the 1980s. The work was inspired by a performance of the Yueju Opera "Dream of the Red Chamber," and was the artist's first Chinese opera figure painting.
Date: Through December 3 (closed on Mondays), 10am-4pm
Venue: Shanghai Jiudian Art Museum
Address: 406 Guilin Rd